The Philosophy of Foucault
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Series: Continental European Philosophy
Author(s): Todd May  
ISBN: 184465057X
ISBN-13: 9781844650576
Publication Date: 31/05/2006
Pages: 186 (234 x 156mm)
Format: Paperback
Published Price: £16.99
Discount Price: £13.59
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Michel Foucault's historical and philosophical investigations have gone through many phases: the archaeological, the genealogical, and the ethical among them. What remains constant, however, is the question that motivates them: "who are we?" Todd May follows Foucault's itinerary from his early history of madness to his posthumously published Collège de France lectures and shows how the question of who we are shifts and changes but remains constantly at or just below the surface of his writings. By approaching Foucault's work in this way, May is able to offer readers an engaging and illuminating way to understand Foucault.

Each of Foucault's key works – Madness and Civilization, The Archaeology of Knowledge, The Order of Things, Discipline and Punish and the multi-volume History of Sexuality – are examined in detail and situated in an historical context that makes effective use of comparisons with other thinkers such as Freud, Nietzsche and Sartre. Throughout the book May strikes a balance between sympathetic presentation and criticism of Foucault's ideas and in so doing exposes Foucault's contributions of lasting value. The Philosophy of Foucault is an accessible and stimulating introduction to one of the most popular and influential thinkers of recent years and will be welcomed by students studying Foucault as part of politics, sociology, history and philosophy courses.


"May's introduction stands out from a crowded field … he makes the relevance of Foucault's ideas clear and in the process raises possibilities that even seasoned Foucaultians will find novel. This is a well-written, thorough and thought-provoking introduction that will prove an excellent source for students of Foucault." – Political Studies Review

"May pulls off the difficult feat of giving what's needed for a helpful introductory survey while offering interpretations that those already acquainted with Foucault's work will find interesting and challenging. Beyond the guided tour of Foucault's work, May and the reader are engaging in some serious philosophical thinking." – Gary Gutting, University of Notre Dame

"May focuses on the question of who we are and how we have come to be who we are. I cannot think of a better way to present Foucault's work to students. It is the best written, most clarifying, inviting text on Foucault I have read – and most importantly, without watering down the profundity of Foucault's work." – Mike Mahon, Boston University

Todd May is Professor of Philosophy at Clemson University, South Carolina.

1. Introduction: Who are we?
2. Archaeological histories of who we are
3. Genealogical histories of who we are
4. Who we are and who we might be
5. Coda: Foucault's own straying afield
6. Are we still who Foucault says we are?
Further Reading

Also available in Hardback (1844650561), priced 50.00

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